The region of Piedmont in Northwestern Italy is one of the best-known wine regions. We focused our time in Barolo today, and so glad we did! What an experience!
The winery we visited is Marchesi di Barolo. The chef invited us into his kitchen around 10:00, gave us an apron and put us to work. Well, he did offer us an espresso first which helped because we needed the caffeine before learning the ropes of a very popular kitchen.
Actually, he also created a very interesting egg dish to accompany our espresso. The chef shaved a generous portion of black truffles over the egg dish as well as a few drops of truffle sauce. Now I have to mention that I’m not an over-the-top truffle fanatic, however, after today, I am a HUGE fan. The shaved truffles and that truffle oil woke up every taste bud I didn’t even know I had. A subtle and unique flavor that is just wonderful!
So now we are caffeinated and fed – ready to embrace this cooking class for the next two hours!
But wait, the chef explained what he was making for lunch today for the restaurant. He talked about the ingredients, meats, vegetables, and wine used in the recipes he created. The main meat dish was veal covered in wine and simmered slowly for 9 hours. Oh yes!
Wine was poured for us because you know, a good cook needs wine to drink besides using it to cook. Was it 10:30 yet? Maybe 11:00 am? This will be a hard habit to break when I return home!
Our hands-on portion of the class was making pasta. Interesting, the pasta we made today was created entirely of flour and egg yolk, no egg whites or water. It was very thick and dry at first, and yet, after being run through the pasta machine a few times moistened up nicely. I had so much fun!
The chef then cooked up just a spoonful of the pasta for each of us to taste before we continued. It only took a few seconds to boil up. He warmed up a little butter, added some broth from cooked vegetables, and the cooked pasta. After plating it, he shaved more truffles on top. There are not enough exclamation points to illustrate how good this tasted.
There was much more to do in the kitchen to prepare for lunch in the restaurant the chef said goodbye.
The next portion of our visit at the winery included a tour of the cellar and the owner’s private wine collection. The cellar was fascinating with its many variations of wooden vats and barrels of numerous sizes, cement holding tanks, stainless steel tanks.
This winery started with a great love story that dates back to 1807 when the Marquis of Barolo married a French noblewoman. To read their love story that includes a castle in the Italian countryside and the beginning of the vineyards, check out this link Marchesi Di Barolo Love Story. Oh so romantic.
We moved on to the private collection of wines and original tasting room with stories of wartime bottles that were made flat (instead of round) in error, but used and filled, then hidden in boxes disguised as books. Cleaver!
We worked up an appetite after all this and headed up to a private dining room where we were treated to a special lunch. We tasted four wines, all delicious, of course. The first lunch dish is veal with tuna pate. The primi is agnolotti di plin, a regional dish of Piedmont (the small ravioli looking dish), next is the veal braised in Barolo wine, and dessert of strawberry glace which is made with gelatin Moscato wine (and we drank it with Moscato wine). So four wines with lunch, two dishes made with wine, oh, and we had wine while we were cooking, I’m ready for a nap!
After lunch, we drove to our hotel to check in, unpack and take a walk. The views are spectacular from these hilltop towns. You do have to be part mountain goat to navigate them – just saying.
A few stunning shots from Antimo.
We’re off to Alba tomorrow!